Facebook Graph Search: First use and suggestions on personalized searching

Facebook recommends a two-minute tour. The show you how to search for anything you’re into. Using simple phrases to explore connections makes it easy to receive personalized results that show details just for you. When you start searching, Facebook offers suggestions: (1) Photos of my friends and me; (2) Restaurants nearby; and (3) Music my friends listen to. To start using the Graph Search tool, click on the text “Search for people, places and things.” Next, use the mouse to scroll through the searchable categories and use the “tab” key to select a search category. See the gallery at the end of this article for some of the features and benefits of Facebook Graph Search.

Read some first impressions of my experience with Facebook Graph Search.

I selected friends and graph search showed me a scrollable list of friends with the most relevant appearing first on the list. I can tell the software is ranking the frequency of interactions as well as common interests, schools, workplaces, etc. On the right side of my screen, I can use drop-down lists to refine my search. If I want to view my friends who all attended the same undergraduate school, I can do so. Relationships status is also an option you can use to narrow a list of friends who are single, for example.

There are several click-able options on your friends search results if you hover the mouse over your friend’s profile. In addition to the biographical information that appears about your friend in the results list, you can hover over the search icon on your friend’s listing in the search results for photos, friends, and interests. I clicked the Interests button for one of my friends and I received a new list of search results of the pages my friend liked. The pages that the majority of my collective friends like seem to appear toward the top of the list. Having said that, some less popular pages show up on the top of the result, and the algorithm might have more to do with other aspects of my Facebook identity.

Searching yourself using Facebook Graph Search is a good grooming exercise.

Now, for the big test, I entered a Graph Search query for “Pages liked by Nick Augustine.” What’s funny (or maybe not to some) is that the top return in my search result was the Facebook page for Two Brothers Roundhouse restaurant, followed by Salesforce, the Chicago Blackhawks, and Augustine’s Pay It Forward, Inc. (my family’s not-for-profit organization). When I scrolled down the list of pages I like I found several others I probably like more than the top results. It looks like I prefer the Two Brothers Roundhouse restaurant to other pages, which is not the case.

I decided to search for pages liked by…(when suggestions appeared) The Augustine Referral Network, a closed Facebook group, and found Greater Naperville Networking and clicked “Like.” I scrolled down and liked a few others I discovered along the way. Next, I returned to the Graph Search bar and searched for “Pages liked by me.” The same pages appeared like they did before and there was no change to the order. I isolated a page I’m not sure everyone might like and noticed that instead of unliking the page I could hover the mouse over the top right of the search result for that page and click the “Remove” x button that next prompts you to click again and report the page. I do not want to report the organization; I simply do not want them to appear so high on the list of pages I like.

Have you used Facebook Graph Search yet? I’m curious to hear comments and feedback.

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